Mental Health Q&A: At What Point Do You Stop Trying To Be Strong?

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Have you been strong for too long as you battle anxiety and depression?
Being strong... But at what point do you say "enough is enough"? Pixabay photo (CC0).

Many of us yearn for a stable life, where we can feel some sort of contentment. It seems that nowadays stress and anxiety replace this feeling of satisfaction. We feel pressures from every direction. How do we cope with this? We do our utmost to be strong. Strength is a noble quality, of course. But when stress, anxiety, and depression form a trifecta of pressure that is unbearable, at what point do we say “enough is enough,” and admit to ourselves that we need some help with a mental health problem?

Are You Afraid of the Consequences?

High functioning depression is something that is being talked about more nowadays than in previous decades. But some people still think that saying you are depressed means admitting to being weak. Admitting that you’ve done all you can do, and it’s time to reach out, can feel like you are negating any previous strength. Well, the first step to solving any sort of problem like this is admitting that you have one.

By opening up and accepting that you have depression or anxiety, you can finally take down that veil you’ve help up for so long. Admitting you’re depressed doesn’t mean admitting you’re weak, it means acknowledging that you’ve been strong for too long. People don’t think about it like it like this, but it’s the truth.

Do You Think You will be Handled with Kid Gloves?

Some people feel that if they admit to some kind of weakness, that everybody is going to tiptoe around them from now on. That is hardly the case. As you clearly demonstrated before, you’ve been able to function. It’s just that now you need an extra bit of help to see you through the days. You don’t have to be handled with kid gloves if you don’t want to be. You have a right to the same treatment as anybody else.

There is still some stigma attached to mental health in some environments, such as workplaces, where, because it’s not seen, it’s not there. It’s a big shame, but the tide is turning against that, albeit very slowly. It seems to vary depending on the industry. And people are genuinely fearful for their jobs if they admit that they have a mental health condition.

Much like some women are afraid to admit that they are pregnant for fear of losing their job, many are choosing to do the most to cope with their depression alone. It seems that a lot of us are having our rights taken away, so naturally we feel trepidation to admit this to our employer. Remember that you have rights. And it’s your employer’s duty to work with you, not against you.

Do You Think You will be Carted Off to the “Nuthouse”?!

Most of us know that we are doing just fine under the circumstances, but sometimes we all have that moment where we feel unable to cope with everything. Fear of being labelled an oddity can go against what you’ve been fighting for so long. And attempting to function in this normal world is what you crave, but sometimes a little guidance is necessary. There is no shame in going to a counselor. At least you know a reputable professional has the tools to guide you in the right direction.

Always there for you are your local doctor and medical centers like the Compass Health Center that provides help for a mental health problem. There is professional assistance online too. The big danger in self-diagnosing yourself through Dr. Google is that you can cherry pick the results, to an extent. This is why it’s always best to go through a professional protocol instead.

You might get an antidepressant prescription. It can have a positive effect, especially on those people who have functioning depression. And specific online courses might help you. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), for example, helps people to retrain their minds if they have a skewed perspective. A combination of treatments, such as antidepressants in conjunction with CBT, could be the right one for you.

Why Don’t You Want Help with a Mental Health Problem?

If you are afraid to admit you have depression or anxiety, is it because you don’t want help? As already stated, the fear of admitting you have a problem means that you have to go about solving it. And yet, some of us feel that having a mental health problem makes us special. The fact is, lots of us have so much emotional baggage in today’s world that it’s our right to choose whether we get help or not. Although, you can feel that having a mental health problem makes you part of a massive club. It’s all about how you deal with the issue. Do you view it as a major problem that is impacting your life?

If you have anxiety or depression, it’s your prerogative whether you want to seek help or not, but some people feel that getting rid of their depression may result in them losing their edge. Unfortunately, those people, predominantly creatives, have made a choice it can be very hard to come back from. It’s one of those things where you can’t really see how it’s affecting you until you climb out of the metaphorical well. Because all you’ve seen is your clouded judgement. You might choose to function with this depression and push on as much as you can, but there may come a breaking point. This breaking point could be small or massive. These breaking points are usually the catalyst for change, but it’s beneficial to not reach that point.

Concluding Words on Mental Health

When do you stop trying to be strong? For some, it could be an unfortunate incident that sparks change. But if you can admit to yourself that you are functioning in a state of depression, you deserve to get out of the mental health problem. Some people view it as a badge of honor because they overcome a difficulty. Sure, developing resilience is an admirable skill, but when it’s impacting your health, that is another story entirely.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting read. I myself have been going through a rougher time than usual and have had to seek extra help to try to learn how to handle it and find some peace. Loved your take on this – and especially the kid gloves part – people have seen you as high functioning with depression or anxiety or both. So they know you’re capable of functioning, they may even give you tough love. Admitting you need some extra help can be daunting, but it can also be the best thing for you. You don’t have to fight and be strong 100% of the time.

  2. .. At sometimes one just get acquainted with the habit of feeling, bad, down,, worthless, negative, and it gets into a spiral, where it feels more comfortable to be than to try and escape…

  3. People are rarely carried off to nut houses unless they are a danger to themselves or others, cannot be sectioned, have to be lucid enough to ask for help, then they get a psychiatric consult followed by an assesment. Asylums have all closed down and are only opened as Museums or part of ghost walks or eritten about in films.

  4. I used to have the opposite problem:I was so used to chin up and put a smile on my face to show around that I started to believe my fake happiness until it imploded .

  5. It is totally true what you are saying here! If somebody is depressed it doesn’t mean is weak. Just reached the point of having enough of struggle. It may happens to any of us at any time of our life. Great post!

  6. I think that sometimes people mistake vulnerability for weakness but I feel there is strength in vulnerability. While dropping the facade of “being strong” and having the courage to reach out for help can make us feel vulnerable, it’s also a sign of great strength. I really enjoyed reading this post, it’s clearly something you feel passionate about, Christy, thank you.

  7. This is such an important topic: it touches on those health ailments that cannot be seen and therefore aren’t taken as seriously. I had a friend when I was younger from Brazil who told me that mental health is treated very differently there: it was as important as your physical health. She told me how everyone she knew took time each week to go see a psychologist, just as they also took time to work out, and make regular appointment for the family doctor. I hope other western societies embrace the idea that mind/body/spirit are all connected and all need to be a central focus in one’s life to feel balanced and secure.

  8. Great topic indeed Christy, I agree so much with what you write “Admitting you’re depressed doesn’t mean admitting you’re weak, it means acknowledging that you’ve been strong for too long. “

  9. What a great post.. I have battled mental health issues all of my adult life and sometimes it is worse than others. It is good for people to read that three are many going through similar situations at work and home.

  10. I agree with your points above, Christy, but would add that sometimes it is external factors that create undue anxiety as a result of unreasonable expectations of people, especially [it seems to me] professional people who in this technological age are expected to be available 24/7. Sometimes you have to push back on this as well.

  11. How true “At what point do we stop trying to be strong”. I think a lot of the time we just keep trying to muddle through until some small incident gives us a wake up call. The tide is slowly turning with regards to stigma surrounding Mental Health and speaking out. But speak out we must, to understand and support each other. A wonderful post Christy, thank you xx

  12. Great post! I think most of us are conditioned that way either by our mothers or grandmothers. I know I am. It’s been instilled in me that I am a strong black woman and we don’t need help. But that’s just so wrong…there is nothing wrong with getting help!

  13. “Admitting you’re depressed doesn’t mean admitting you’re weak, it means acknowledging that you’ve been strong for too long.”

    God, it’s such a refreshing perspective to be reminded that giving yourself a break from being ‘on’ doesn’t mean giving up. Sometimes it’s just the best way to carry on, especially when personal and societal demands can be so hard to reach. Thank you for this invitation for us all to go kinder on ourselves, and to seek out better health despite the way we are made to feel undeserving of it.

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